Dave's Sports Views

Analysis, humor and opinion on the sports world

Location: Dallas, Texas, United States

Friday, March 17, 2006

Close, but no cigar

That was the theme of Day 1 of the NCAA tournament. Double-digit seeds never had so many chances to win in one day as they did Thursday, but in the end, only UW-Milwaukee, Montana, Texas A&M and Alabama did. The Tide, taking a 7-10 game, is a mild upset winner at best.

Pacific took Boston College to double-overtime. Winthrop fell to Tennessee on a ridiculous shot by Chris Lofton. San Diego State let a late lead slip away against Indiana. And Xavier nearly extended Gonzaga's misery as a high seed, but Adam Morrison carried the Bulldogs to victory.

Some thoughts:

Hero of the Day: Jean Felix, Alabama -- I saw what Morrison did, but it was to be expected from him. Felix's 31 points and 8-for-11 shooting from behind the arc is the stuff tournament dreams are made of.

Goat of the Day: Gerry McNamara, Syracuse -- I hate to dump on him, because without him Syracuse wouldn't have made the tournament. That was validated last night with him playing hurt and ineffective. But ZERO field goals? It's a sign of McNamara's game. He's a long-range shooter, and a great one. But when the legs aren't there to shoot the jumper, he doesn't have a lot of other moves at his disposal. Note to Jim Boeheim: I said goat of the DAY. I'm still a fan of the kid.

Game of the Day: Lots of choices, but it has to be BC-Pacific. The momentum swings in the final five minutes of regulation and the two overtimes were incredible. It's the kind of first-round survival that can motivate a team, and I don't think BC needed to motivated in the first place. But GW-UNCW, Gonzaga-Xavier, Tennessee-Winthrop and Indiana-SDSU were terrific, too.

Conference Roundup: The SEC starts an impressive 4-0. The ACC, Pac 10, and Big Ten are all 2-0. The vaunted Big East? 0-3. Though they have two No. 1 seeds playing today, it's not a stretch to think that the nation's deepest conference could be 2-6 by Saturday morning.

Player to Watch: Morrison. He's the type of player that can carry a team a long way, and he showed why last night.

Second-Round Game to Watch: Gonzaga-Indiana. Mike Davis lives to coach another day.

On to Day Two. Not a lot of upsets jumping out at me, but watch out for the Missouri Valley. Wichita State had a nice debut in thrashing Seton Hall. Now two more Valley teams take on the Big East: Southern Illinois vs. West Virginia and Northern Iowa vs. Georgetown. Add Bradley and 7-footer Patrick O'Bryant going up against a young Kansas team, and you have the potential for the kind of breakout day a mid-major conference needs.



Post a Comment

<< Home

Subscribe with Bloglines